When men say, “Shut up about what men have done to you, or else you’re wallowing in victimhood when you should be doing something more positive”.
A few years ago now I was working in an office which had a poster on the wall saying “women are talking”. It was an inspirational message-ey one, like the “Keep Calm and Carry On” mugs. At the time, I loved it. I thought it was true. I thought we’d broken the silence and that was it. Patriarchy had just said “oh fuck, they won that one” and gone home.
More and more these days I get a chill running down my spine as I realise quite how limited the space is where we’re allowed to ‘talk’. (By ‘talk’ here I mean talk about men’s violence against us. There’s another chill there about how that’s obvious before you even specify, most of the time.)
For a start, we can’t ‘talk’ or ‘speak’ any more. We have to ‘disclose’, ‘share’, ‘confess’. Even the act of naming what men do to us…
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